New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on
Friday signed two LGBT bills.
Cuomo signed the bills at a ceremony
held at the New York City LGBT Community Center, the
One bill bans therapies that attempt to
alter the sexual orientation or gender identity of minors – often
called “ex-gay” or conversion therapy – while the other, known
as the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), prohibits
discrimination on the basis of gender identity in the areas of
employment, housing, public spaces, and education.
“The Supreme Court says you can
discriminate against transgender in the military,” Cuomo said
before signing GENDA, referring to the high court's recent order
allowing President Donald Trump's ban on transgender troops to take
effect. “That's what they said last week. We say today: No, you
can't. You cannot discriminate against people by gender identity.
Court allows Trump's transgender military ban to take effect.)
While GENDA, first introduced 16 years
ago, cleared the New York Assembly a total of 11 times, it repeatedly
stalled in the Republican-controlled Senate. Democrats regained
control of the Senate in November.
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the
nation's largest LGBT rights advocate, praised Cuomo in a statement.
“Today, with Governor Cuomo’s
signature, New York has made bold, historic progress by making GENDA
the law of the land and banning the abusive and life-threatening
practice of so-called ‘conversion therapy’ on LGBTQ youth,” HRC
President Chad Griffin said. “These laws will literally save lives,
and their passage would not have been possible without the tireless
work of advocates and allies across New York over the last decade.”